Ancient Roman Oil Lamp with Venationes

GBP 335.00

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Object Description

An Ancient Roman oil lamp finely moulded from terracotta, featuring a short, volutes canal nozzle and a decorated discus with one filling hole. The discus holds the moulded depiction of a male figure, a bestiarius, being attacked by two animals, possibly a scene referred to the venationes games in the Roman arenas. This lamp belongs to the Loeschcke type IV, which is characterised by rounded nozzle flanked by volute-spines, round shoulders and an absence of handle.

This type of lamps, made from a mould, was produced only from the Late Augustan (early 1st century AD) to the Early Nerva-Antonine dynasty (first third of the second century AD). Across the Roman Empire, a lamp was originally called a ‘lychnus‘, from the Greek ‘λυχνος’, with the oldest Roman lamps dating back to the third century BC. During the Roman Empire, the variation in decoration increased. Common decorative themes depicted on the discus included entertainment scenes, common myths, deities, and even animals. Combat scenese between animals and humans were a popular decorative motif, echoing real life combats between bestiarii, Romans beast-fighters, and wild animals during the games in Roman amphiteatres, known as venationes.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd century AD

Object History

Provenance: Private Israel collection, SM. Israeli export license for the collection.

Object Condition

Condition: Fine condition with signs of ageing on the surface. Restored.

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    W:10.5 x centimeters

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

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Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James
London
SW1Y 4AA

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